Suggested Reading List
A Witness to History: Charleston's Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
Author: Ruth Miller and Ann Taylor Andrus
Description: The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon in Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the great buildings of Colonial America. Serving as city hall, customs house, post office and prison; as the British Headquarters during the occupation of Charles Towne and then host to a great ball honoring George Washington, the Exchange has been an eyewitness to America’s history. This stoic building-—designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975—-has been described as the best example of the dignity and ornament of the traditional English “exchange-town hall” design of the eighteenth century built in the United States. From within its Great Hall to deep below in the Provost Dungeon, the Exchange has played a vital role in American history. Andrus’ and Miller’s fast-paced and readable survey of the history and significance of the Old Exchange Building will appeal to visitor and serious historian alike.
Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War
Author: David Detzer
Description: An original and deeply human portrait of soldiers and civilians caught in the vortex of war.
So vividly does Allegiance re-create the events leading to the firing of the first shot of the Civil War on April 12, 1861, that we can feel the fabric of the Union tearing apart. It is a tense and surprising story, filled with indecisive bureaucrats, uninformed leaders, hotheaded politicians, and dedicated and honorable soldiers on both sides.
The six-month-long agony that began with Lincoln's election in November sputtered from one crisis to the next until Lincoln's inauguration, and finally exploded as the soldiers at Sumter neared starvation. At the center of this dramatic narrative is the heroic figure of Major Robert Anderson, a soldier whose experience had taught him above all that war is the poorest form of policy. With little help from Washington, D.C., Anderson almost single-handedly forestalled the beginning of the war until he finally had no choice but to fight.
David Detzer's decade-long research illuminates the passions that led to the fighting, the sober reflections of the man who restrained its outbreak, and individuals on both sides who changed American history. No other historian has given us a clearer or more intimate picture of the human drama of Fort Sumter.
Atlanta: Then and Now
Author: Michael Rose
Description: Atlanta Then and Now is a captivating chronicle of history and change since the dawn of the camera age. It pairs historic photographs, many over a century old, with specially commissioned views of the same scene as it exists today showing the evolution of Atlanta.
Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement
Author: Tomiko Brown-Nagin
Description: The Civil Rights movement that emerged in the United States after World War II was a reaction against centuries of racial discrimination. In this sweeping history of the Civil Rights movement in Atlanta--the South's largest and most economically important city--from the 1940s through 1980, Tomiko Brown-Nagin shows that the movement featured a vast array of activists and many sophisticated approaches to activism. Long before "black power" emerged and gave black dissent from the mainstream civil rights agenda a new name, African Americans in Atlanta debated the meaning of equality and the steps necessary to obtain social and economic justice.
This groundbreaking book uncovers the activism of visionaries--both well-known legal figures and unsung citizens--from across the ideological spectrum who sought something different from, or more complicated than, "integration." Local activists often played leading roles in carrying out the integrationist agenda of the NAACP, but some also pursued goals that differed markedly from those of the venerable civil rights organization. Brown-Nagin discusses debates over politics, housing, public accommodations, and schools. She documents how the bruising battle over school desegregation in the 1970s, which featured opposing camps of African Americans, had its roots in the years before Brown v. Board of Education.
Gullah Cuisine : By Land and by Sea
Author: Charlotte Jenkins
Description: Take a journey with Chef Charlotte Jenkins into her creative kitchen, and also into her life. Charlotte and her husband Frank grew up Gullah at a time when the Old Ways were giving way to the New Ways. They are of the generation that bridged those two worlds. Charlotte learned to cook Gullah the way her mama, her grandmamma and all the mamas that have come before her - by working alongside one another. But she also trained at Johnson & Wales Culinary Institute in Charleston where she adapted the traditional recipes to be more healthful. In1997, she and her husband Frank opened Gullah Cuisine in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. They are now widely acknowledged as offering the best of authentic Gullah cooking. Gullah Cuisine: By Land and By Sea brings Charlotte's wonderful recipes to you. But it does more than that - the book is a tale of connection, sharing a world the Gullah built. It features a narrative by critically acclaimed author William P. Baldwin, photographs by Pulitzer-prize-nominee Mic Smith and art by beloved Gullah painter Jonathan Green.
Images of America - Buckhead
Author: Susan Kesslers Barnard
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Author: John Berendt
Description: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a sublime and seductive reading experience. Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city has become a modern classic.Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.
Mrs. Whaley and Her Charleston Garden
Author: Emily Whaley
Description: In conversation with William Baldwin. Emily Whaley's garden on Church Street in Charleston, South Carolina, may be the most visited private garden in the country. And no wonder. It is the life's work of a vibrant, sociable, opinionated, determined, forceful woman who has spent the last eighty-five years cultivating whatever life offered her. MRS. WHALEY AND HER CHARLESTON GARDEN captures and preserves Emily Whaley's distinctive voice and braces us with a clear understanding of how one might cultivate a practical personal philosophy alongside one's garden.
Savannah: A History of Her People Since 1733
Author: Preston Russell (Author), Barbara Hines (Author)
Description: Savannah: A History of Her People Since 1733 offers a chronological view of Savannah history, including period photogrpahs and sketches. If you are acquainted with Savannah, this book will help solidify your knowlegde. If you are new to Savannah or need to learn more about the city, the book will increase your knowledge.
Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War
Author: Jacqueline Jones
Description: In this masterful portrait of life in Savannah before, during, and after the Civil War, prize-winning historian Jacqueline Jones transports readers to the balmy, raucous streets of that fabled Southern port city. Here is a subtle and rich social history that weaves together stories of the everyday lives of blacks and whites, rich and poor, men and women from all walks of life confronting the transformations that would alter their city forever. Deeply researched and vividly written, Saving Savannah is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the Civil War years.
South of Broad
Author: Pat Conroy
Description: Against the sumptuous backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. Leopold Bloom King, our narrator, is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, an ex-nun, is the high school principal and a well-known Joyce scholar. After Leo's older brother commits suicide at the age of thirteen, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him. Eventually, he finds his answer when he becomes part of a tightly knit group of high school seniors that includes friends Sheba and Trevor Poe, glamorous twins with an alcoholic mother and a prison-escapee father; hardscrabble mountain runaways Niles and Starla Whitehead; socialite Molly Huger and her boyfriend, Chadworth Rutledge X; and an ever-widening circle whose liaisons will ripple across two decades-from 1960s counterculture through the dawn of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
The ties among them endure for years, surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, and Charleston's dark legacy of racism and class divisions. But the final test of friendship that brings them to San Francisco is something no one is prepared for. South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest; a long-awaited work from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds.
Touring the Tombstones
Author: Ruth Miller
Description: A series of guide books to Charleston's 18th century graveyards.